Monday, 29 September 2014

First Maya tutorial

Ok, polygon version of the egg cup was ok, but the second one came out really blobby. I will redo this first tutorial as soon as I can.

Invisible cities - Influence Map

This is my first influence map for our project. The city I picked is the Spider-web city. Based on my thumbnails I have some ideas of the overall design.
Things that inspire me at the moment are spider webs, the crystal cave in Mexico and temples built directly into cliffs. Also (strangely) New York city - the tall skyscrapers and Spider-man somehow made sense for a Spider-City. Trying hard to stay away from already finished fantasy ideas but I still looked at a couple (just in case I might be missing something).

Spider-web city concept art

A quick concept sketch for the city I picked, first drawn in my sketchbook and then redone digitally:

Invisible cities - rest of the thumbnails for the Spider-Web city

The rest of my thumbnails, all of them are exploring the city I chose - Spider-web city.
Basically the more I sketched the more ideas I developed which was really interesting. Even the ones that do not look like anything in particular led me to some concept ideas.

I think the keywords after finishing the concepts are: crystals, snow, bones (husks), chains, northern lights and spider webs.

Friday, 26 September 2014

GIF Animation experiment

Using Photoshop CC, for about 5 minutes after the introduction today, great fun :)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

"Le Voyage Dans La Lune" review

 (fig.1 Poster)
 "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" (1902) was a short but strangely exciting film. Its style and special effects are recognizable even now, more than a century later. While watching the over-exaggerated acting, the viewer cannot help but wonder how exciting it must have been filming it and being a part of something so imaginative and "new". 

Georges Melies (director) created a true classic with his innovative views. According to "As a film pioneer and producer of over 500 short films, Melies made up and invented the film medium as he directed. He developed the art of special effects in earlier films, including double exposure, actors performing with themselves over split screens, and use of the dissolve and fade. He also pioneered the art of film editing."

(fig. 2 concept art))
As shown on fig.2 the concept art for the short film was truly inspiring, especially for a person living in 1902, able to record a film that can only be a script from their wildest fantasies. Men walking on the moon, the mysteries it hides, the strange creatures that inhabit its depths.

 (fig 3 - a still from the film)
In figure 3 we can experience both a fantastic set design and real actors, an approach with which we can stop living our mundane lives and dive into a world full of adventure and excitement.

As Chrisie Jazar  states in his review for the movie: "The plot is very simple: a group of astronomers are shot(via a giant cannon) for a journey to the moon." What we can talk about though is the imprint of movies such as this one, Their legacy and how they inspire us to follow our dreams.

In conclusion, artistic vision and strange concepts are the fuel of our modern age. Going beyond our own limits and explore distant worlds, reaching for the sky and achieving our dreams. Without people like George Melies, our world would have been a different one, a less exciting version of itself.

Image links:
Figure 1 - poster - (accessed 25 Sep. 2014)

Figure 2 - concept art - (accessed 25 Sep. 2014)

Figure 3 - still from the film - (accessed 25 Sep. 2014)

Tim Dirks. (2000). Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902).Available: Last accessed 25/09/2014.

Chrisle Jarzar. (2010). Review: Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902). Available: Last accessed 25/09/2014.

Exercise 3 - copy / paste/ layer styles

And the last exercise we did on Monday. Did not have enough time to experiment more broadly.

Exercise 2 - lasso tool/marquee tool/transforms

The second lot of thumbnails, this time for the city named Esmeralda:
Looking at them now reminds me a lot of the background for the text frames in the film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari".

The spider-web city exercise thumbnails

The first very quick thumbnails for the Spider-web city:

Photoshop exercise 01 - Brush thumbnails

I managed to recover my files from monday (I'll never forget my external hard drive again!). And here it is - trying out the different brushes (half of which, sadly, are not compatible with photoshop CS5).

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Photoshop exercise

Around 30 minutes in photoshop cs5, just trying brushes out, nothing exciting :)

Autodesk maya 1st try

Just a quick experiment with autodesk maya... It is supposed to be a mushroom (ha!)

Concept sketch

Just a quick, 15 minute sketch, using photoshop and trying really hard to use the keyboard shortcuts instead of the usual clicking :)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari review

(fig1) Movie still

"The cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) is a true eye-opener and a reminder that black and white movies do not necessarily result in a dull experience. From the set design to the acting, the movie gives the viewer a truly unique view-point. Most exciting of which was the chance to have a glimpse into the mind of the director Robert Wiene.
The film captures the attention from on of the first line "Everywhere there are spirits... They are all around us... They have driven me from hearth and home, from my wife and children." (, 2014). While the story unfolds one can only be left fascinated with the variety of different sets and their somewhat jagged design. The doors and windows look unreal and as if they would not serve their purpose, but seeing how actors interact with them in such a natural way can really make you forget about their lack of realism.
(fig2) Movie Still
As the story unfolds we start putting the puzzle pieces together. Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) presents a somnambulist at a fair in the little town of Holstenwall. After a rather dramatic awakening the somnambulist Cesare (Conrad Veidt) whispers a prophecy about one of the characters dying by dawn. As the story progresses the viewer grows confident and could even try and guess what will happen at the end, but the plot twist at the end is where the real beauty of the film lays.
Interestingly even simple mechanics like changing the lens of the camera to blue can convey that the scene is portraying darkness and again it is a reminder that sometimes simplicity is enough for the viewer to understand the story.
The text frames with their jagged font and backgrounds add a lot to the whole experience. The narrative is very clear and everything in the film is working toward enriching it. Font, music, and visionary style all add up to create an outstanding atmosphere. Roger Ebert states, that director, Robert Wiene, is making a film of delusions and deceptive appearances, about madmen and murder. (Ebert, 2009) Which can explain a lot about the set design.
Visually exciting and with a clear message the film is one of those rare gems that leaves the viewer wanting for more and is created with so much visionary talent as if challenging the imagination. The film also serves as a reminder that we do not need speech to understand or convey a message. Vision transcends words and language.
(fig3) Movie Poster
Image list:
Figure 1: (accessed on 23 Sep. 2014)
Figure 2: on 23 Sep. 2014)
Figure 3: (accessed on 23 Sep. 2014)

Bibliography:, (2014), [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Sep. 2014].
Ebert, R. (2009). The Cabinet of Dr. Calligari Movie Review (1920) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [accessed 23 Sep. 2014]

tired eyes tutorial

Following an imagine fx tutorial and using photoshop. It all looks wonky and the lines are far from perfect but I am trying to get used to the idea of uploading work in progress on my blog. Still embarrassing, but I suppose it will all pay off in the long run.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Jellyfish concept sketch

Aaaand another concept sketch for the jellyfish final design. Photoshop for about 20 minutes.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Concept art (summer project)

Another concept painting for my final design of a building from the summer project. Photoshop for about an hour while watching Lady Hawk on film4 :p Very inspiring indeed!

Friday, 19 September 2014